The Lagos State government never bothered to officially tell the public why it banned okada in 15 local government areas in the state this month. We are left to speculate on the reasons. This is not the first time the state government has banned these men who behave as if they have a permanent death wish but it is the first time the government decided not to make the ban general and, therefore, ineffective but restrict it, I understand, in the first instance to the 15 local government areas.
The Fashola administration first banned okada from major highways in the state capital. The ban failed to achieve its objectives because it was observed completely in the breach. That government also banned begging and street trading, particularly at traffic bottlenecks. Both bans were intended to address a serious and worrying problem – increasing insecurity in the state capital. It was established at the time that armed robbers used okada for their nefarious activity day and night. The ban first restricted okada men from operating after 7 pm.